ATHENS – Anticipating an imminent announcement from Turkey whenit will send an energy research vessel near the island of Kastellorizo, Greece issued Navigational Telexes (NAVTEX) reserving the same spots.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with the European Union reluctant to confront him, said he will make good on his word to send another drilling vessel, the Abdulhamid Han into the Eastern Mediterranean.
The island is 4.34 miles or 7 kilometers from the nearest Turkish coastal village of Kas and Greece claims a 6-kilometer maritime boundary, Erdogan warning it would be a cause for war if Greece moves to double that.
The Turkish Petroleum Corporation, which was sanctioned by the European Union for drilling in Cypriot waters – ignored by Erdogan – will send the vessel in but it wasn’t said if it would be accompanied by warships as before.
Moving to counter the Greek NAVTEX, Turkey’s hydrographic stations of Antalya issued one as well, which could be seen as a challenge to the Hellenic Navy if it operates in the same area.
The Israeli Navy had requested and received permission from Greece to carry out drills in two areas south of Crete – Greece’s biggest island – where Erdogan said he would send energy research ships.